I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Southampton, where I am the principal investigator for the Art & Ethics research project. Before this I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas at UNAM. I completed my PhD at the University of Michigan in 2016.
I grew up both on England’s South Coast and in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Later, I studied philosophy at the University of Sheffield and returned there to complete an MA following a year teaching English in Valencia, Spain.
My research is principally in the fields of aesthetics and ethics. My dissertation ‘Problems to Appreciate: Aesthetics, Ethics, and the Imagination’, was supervised by Kendall Walton, Sarah Buss, Daniel Jacobson, and Gregg Crane. It consists of three papers that address some aspect of appreciation. One paper articulates a new paradox concerning what I call the “Merit Principle” when applied to a class of artworks I call “seductive” works. Another examines the so-called Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance—why it is that appreciators cannot imagine, and authors cannot make fictionally true, certain propositions in literary fictions (published in Phil Imprint). The third paper asks whether appreciating sport resembles appreciating works of fiction—in particular, whether our investment in the outcomes of sport should be understood on the model of our caring about fictional events and characters (published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism). I’m also interested in other questions in value theory, the philosophies of mind and sport, issues of social justice, and much besides.
Some of my other work has been cited widely, including by a report produced for the British Board of Film Classification. I have presented work at venues across the world.
Outside of academia proper, I run a blog applying critical thinking to pop culture and current events, produce graphic designs, play football (the kind that involves one’s feet rather than one’s hands, naturally), and spend time with the family: my wife, Fown and my kids, Katharina, Kaspar, and Axel. I also have two dogs named Beverly and Matilda who are as cute as they sound, possibly cuter.
As for pronouncing my name, it rhymes with ‘thrills Venice’, which seems a laudable ambition.